Arben Taravari from the Alliance of Albanians said that they will most likely support the VMRO-DPMNE mayoral candidate in Kicevo Aleksandar Jovanovski. If confirmed, this will be a rare situation where an Albanian party support an ethnic Macedonian candidate against an Albanian candidate – DUI official an incumbent Mayor Fatmir Dehari.

Jovanovski won the first round with 8,800 votes against 8,545 for Dehari. Kicevo Albanians are dominated by the DUI party, and the city was gerrymandered to make it majority Albanian, with a large Macedonian minority. A rival Albanian candidate from the ranks of DUI, Fatmir Limani, won about 4,500 votes, and the Alliance of Albanians won about 1,500 votes.

Taravari narrowly did not win re-election as Mayor of Gostivar in the first round, and will face DUI opponent Nevzat Bejta there – a race in which he will require VMRO-DPMNE support. The Alliance of Albanians and its partner, the Alternative, have a similar race against DUI in Skopje’s Cair district as well as in Struga. In exchange for VMRO votes in these races, they were expected to support VMRO in the race for the capital Skopje, but the prospect of supporting VMRO in Kicevo as well, against Dehari – a former Albanian terrorist commander in the 2001 war – is a new signal of deepening ties between the Macedonian and Albanian opposition parties who hope to bring down Zaev’s Government on the back of their success in the first round of the elections. Taravari justified this announcement by saying that the ethnic Albanians in Macedonia primarily need to remove DUI from power, and end its corruption and abuse of office.